A1 Journal article – refereed
Estrogen and prolactin regulation of rat dorsal and lateral prostate in organ culture




List of Authors: Nevalainen MT, Valve EM, Mäkelä SI, Bläuer M, Tuohimaa PJ, Härkönen PL
Publication year: 1991
Journal: Endocrinology
Journal name in source: Endocrinology
Journal acronym: Endocrinology
Volume number: 129
Issue number: 2
ISSN: 0013-7227

Abstract
Besides androgens, estrogen (E) and PRL are thought to have important roles in the regulation of the growth and function of the prostate. We have established organ cultures of rat dorsolateral prostate for the analysis of the multiple hormone actions. Explants of dorsal prostate (DP) and lateral prostate (LP) were cultured in a serum-free basal medium containing insulin and corticosterone with or without the hormones studied. The viability and overall integrity of the tissues were maintained for at least 14 days. The morphology of the explants showed castration-like changes in the basal medium, but the addition of testosterone (T) prevented them. Androgen receptors in the prostate cultured with T were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. When the explants were grown with E the epithelium became stratified, and the cells were flat. The epithelium was also layered when the explants were grown with PRL, but the epithelial cells were hypersecretory and large. The glandular morphology of the cultured prostate was, however, best preserved if T was added along with E or PRL. The wet weights and DNA contents of the explants declined during the culture, but they were better maintained if T, E, or PRL were added to the medium. The rate of DNA labeling with [3H]thymidine was activated in the cultured explants, but it was higher in those grown with T, E, or PRL than in those grown in the basal medium. The tissue specific functions were evaluated by measuring the expression of the genes RWB and M-40.3 encoding androgen-regulated secretory proteins. The steady state levels of RWB and M-40.3 mRNA were low in the explants grown in the basal medium but in the presence of T they were high. E and PRL also increased the expression of RWB and M-40.3 messenger RNA, although the responses in DP and LP were somewhat different. The antihormones cyproterone and toremifene opposed the increase of M-40.3 messenger RNA by T and E, respectively. The results show that the cultured DP and LP of the rat maintain the androgen responsiveness and tissue-specific functions in vitro. In addition, E and PRL have androgen-independent, direct effects in them. Rat dorsolateral prostate in culture thus provides a useful model for the studies on the mechanisms of hormone regulation of the prostate.

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